Government to ban food in pubs
3 Nov 2005
The government is considering banning food in pubs on health grounds, DeadBrain has learned. Secret documents circulated in Cabinet and hence to our political editor, Douglas Ramsbottom, show that a ban on food may soon follow one on smoking: "Some of what gets served up in pubs is scarcely edible, and much of it is coated in layers of fat and grime. The evidence shows that it may pose a risk to public health."
Speaking to DeadBrain, an anonymous Cabinet minister – whom our astute reporter quickly identified as Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt – said that a ban on pub food was the only option. "We looked at several possibilities, such as restricting areas pub food can be served in, but that wouldn't have been practical and there was always the risk of 'seepage'," she explained, wearing a large overcoat and a seemingly false moustache. "For the sake of the public good, we have to stop pubs serving this junk up."
Ms Hewitt's plans would cover not only food served from behind the bar, such as crisps and pork scratchings, but also meals prepared in separate kitchens. "Just because it comes out of a door marked kitchen it doesn't mean it's not a ready meal some greasy little man in a white hat has put in a microwave," she added.
However, Ms Hewitt's plans are likely to face fierce opposition from within the government, not least from John Prescott who is thought to cherish his right to have deep-fried chips and a pie containing a small quantity of meat and assorted other anonymous animal body parts along with his pint – indeed, each and every pint on a good night.
The Health Secretary appears to be one step ahead, though, as she indicated that she might be willing to concede the installation of vending machines serving fruit and healthy snacks "just to ease things through". Mr Prescott's opinion on this idea is not yet known, but insiders say it is likely to contain a number of expletives.
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Oi, down here!